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Dec 6, 5:59 PM EST

The Latest: Recount in Atlanta mayor race could be next week

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ATLANTA (AP) -- The Latest on the Atlanta mayoral runoff. (all times local):

6 p.m.

Election officials say a recount in the ultra-close Atlanta mayor's race could happen next week if candidate Mary Norwood formally requests one.

Norwood trails front-runner Keisha Lance Bottoms by just 759 votes after Tuesday's election, which dragged into Wednesday morning.

Though Bottoms declared herself the city's new mayor in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday, Norwood told her supporters that the race isn't over and that she will seek a recount.

Fulton County election official Richard Barron says he expects the election to be certified Saturday or Monday, and Norwood would then have 48 hours to request a recount. Barron tells The Associated Press the recount itself could take about three hours to complete.

Barron is director of registration and elections in Fulton County, home to Atlanta.


9:55 a.m.

The razor-thin margin in the runoff to become Atlanta's mayor must feel like deja vu for Mary Norwood.

Norwood, who trails behind front-runner Keisha Lance Bottoms by just 759 votes after Tuesday's election, was bested by current mayor Kasim Reed in a 2009 runoff by only 714 votes.

Norwood has requested a recount in the latest contest because of the close margin. She says absentee ballots from military members have yet to figure in the totals and she believes some ballots have yet to be tabulated.

A win for Bottoms would continue a run for African-American mayors that began with Maynard Jackson in the mid-1970s. Her victory also would continue the Democratic Party's hold on an office it has held without interruption since 1879.

The race is too close to call.


4:07 a.m.

The race for mayor in Atlanta is too close to call, with one candidate declaring herself the city's new leader and the other vowing to request a recount.

The margin is razor-thin, with several hundred votes separating Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood.

Bottoms spoke early Wednesday at an Atlanta hotel, saying near the end of her speech that "I am just in awe of what God is able to do."

But Norwood took the podium at her own rally and said that absentee ballots from military members were yet to figure in the totals, and she believes some ballots have yet to be tabulated.

Norwood told supporters that just 759 votes separated the candidates early Wednesday morning.

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